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Welding Stresses in Rotor Shaft

A rotor shaft with a circumferential crack around the shaft was received for failure analysis


  • The rotor was visually inspected and photo documented.
  • The rotor was cut so that the fracture face could be visually inspected.


The primary cause of failure was the residual stress state induced by terminating two welds in close proximity. This close placement of the termination points created a tensile stress in the shaft. Poor penetration of the welds was also exhibited, which acted as a stress riser.

rotor 1

rotor 2

Figures 1 and 2 – Visual inspection of the fracture face indicated that the fracture initiation site occurred between two weld termination points. Top View followed by Side View of weld zone.